Photo courtesy of Laura Chouette on Unsplash

MY FAVORITE SENTENCES
by Kidd Wadsworth

These are my goto gems, the sentences that keep me writing, that whisper, “you can do better.”

From Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling:

Mrs. Dursley was thin and blonde and had nearly twice the usual amount of neck, which came in very useful as she spent so much of her time craning over garden fences, spying on the neighbors.

Until I read that sentence, I never considered using the length of a character’s neck to reveal their social-climbing snobbery.

From Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis:

Here we go again. I felt like I was walking in my sleep as I followed Jerry back to the room where all the boys’ beds were jim-jammed together. This was the third foster home I was going to, and I’m used to packing up and leaving, but it still surprises me that there are always a few seconds, right after they tell you you’ve got to go, when my nose gets all runny and my throat gets all choky and my eyes get all sting-y. But the tears coming out doesn’t happen to me anymore, I don’t know when it first happened, but it seems like my eyes don’t cry no more.

Whenever I want to write with the voice of a child, I read Bud, Not Buddy. The last phrase, my eyes don’t cry no more, is pivotal. This little boy has been injured and wearied by a world full of uncaring adults who see him as nothing more than something to be packed up and shipped off. He could have been a frozen ham steak.

From Holes by Louis Sachar:

If you take a bad boy and make him dig a hole every day in the hot sun, it will turn him into a good boy.

I almost stopped reading Holes when I read that sentence. It crushed me.

I think this next sentence by Jane Austen will forever take the prize as the best first sentence of any novel ever written. Not only is it funny, but it also completely captures the essence of Pride and Prejudice:

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

From The Road by Cormac McCarthy:

When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he’d reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him. Nights dark beyond darkness and the days more gray each one than what had gone before. Like the onset of some cold glaucoma dimming away the world.

What continues to fascinate me about these sentences are how they weave together two images: the first of a dying world and the second of a father desperately trying to save his son. Notice that you feel the love of the father for the boy after you read the first sentence, but it only as you read the next two sentences that the father’s desperation slams into you.

This next one I have added, although I don’t know who wrote it, simply because I love it.

I am, perhaps, stalling.

Finally, here is one of my own from a short story set in the Caribbean.

About her came the sounds nocturnal, some cooing, some clicking, the sea softly crashing, and pressing in the sticky night, so different from her air conditioned life.

Please comment with your favorite sentence. I’d love to read them.

Kidd Watsworth’s Books

Author Bio
Author Bio
Kidd writes to bring to life our magical, fire-breathing world. She believes we are super heroes. Its time we put on our capes.
  • Featuring Kidd Wadsworth, Author of the Month

    Kidd Wadsworth writes to bring to life our magical, fire-breathing world. She believes we are super heroes. It’s time we put on our capes.

  • Featuring Kidd Wadsworth, Author of the Month

    Kidd Wadsworth writes to bring to life our magical, fire-breathing world. She believes we are super heroes. It’s time we put on our capes.

  • Featuring Kidd Wadsworth, Author of the Month

    Kidd Wadsworth writes to bring to life our magical, fire-breathing world. She believes we are super heroes. It’s time we put on our capes.

  • In The Zone
    Photo courtesy of Laura Chouette on Unsplash MY FAVORITE SENTENCESby Kidd Wadsworth These are my goto gems, the sentences that keep me writing, that whisper, “you can do better.” From Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling: Mrs. Dursley was thin and blonde and had nearly twice the usual amount of neck, which […]
  • Creating a Writing Journal by Kidd Wadsworth

    I wanted to stop forgetting appointments and lunches with friends. I wanted to keep track of events days, weeks, months and even years into the future.

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Kidd writes to bring to life our magical, fire-breathing world. She believes we are super heroes. Its time we put on our capes.

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